I’m actually going to cover three recipes (four if you count making homemade tahini paste). I will also cover short cuts and various methods of cooking.
My bean dip flavored recipe can be used much like regular hummus or served up and used just like a Tex-Mex pinto or re-fried bean dip. In fact, it came about when I had some homemade hummus left over but didn’t have any re-fried pinto beans to make my regular Tex-Mex bean dip. So it is the melding of different cultures and dips. It was really good but I started using lime instead of lemon for the hummus before making it into a Tex-Mex dip which was just the thing needed to take it to the next level.
I still make traditional hummus too when needed — but this recipe with a twist is probably more frequently used since we eat Tex-Mex so often. On the other hand, we also eat homemade flat bread frequently and I like to serve that with traditional hummus and cranberry dip.
And, if in a hurry, you can simply purchase already made unflavored hummus to use as the base. It works okay but not quite as flavorful as when homemade. It helps though if you heat the hummus with the seasonings in the microwave — in a microwave safe dish — not in the plastic store container, then stir in the remaining ingredients, and chill it overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator to allow flavors to meld further.
Check the label to be sure — but most purchased hummus already has tahini paste added and sometimes may or may not have lemon or lime juice. I recommend one without juice so you can control the quantity and flavor unless you are already familiar with it.
You can purchase tahini paste already made or you can make your own.
Honestly, you can skip the tahini paste and just add a little more olive or sesame oil if needed. I have done this when out of sesame seeds to make tahini paste. Although not traditionally made without tahini, it didn’t ruin the recipe by skipping it.
To make just enough homemade tahini paste for this recipe:
In a dry skillet, constantly stirring, toast 1/4 cup of hulled, un-toasted sesame seeds until light golden brown being careful not to over brown, scorch, or blacken them. Remove from pan and spread out on a plate lined with a paper towel or a lint free towel or cloth and set aside to cool.
It might be possible to make tahini paste using the already toasted sesame seeds so that you don’t have to actually toast them yourself, but I haven’t ever tried it and don’t know how it would work out for sure. I just know that the one time I accidentally picked up toasted ones — and tried to use them without realizing they were already toasted — that it wasn’t a very good taste.
Put a tablespoon of choice of olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, or sesame oil into food processor or blender.
Olive oil is traditional but any of these oils will suffice.
Add juice of half a fresh lime (for making traditional hummus use lemon). Blend or process oil and juice together.
When seeds have cooled gather corners of towel or cloth to carry to blender or processor then loosen one corner to form a spout with which to pour the seeds in. Process or blend until smooth. Allow to sit for 45 minutes.
Add 1/2 tsp more oil, scrape sides to incorporate any stray matter, and blend/process again. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Give a few pulses then put into an airtight container or a sealed jar and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
It’ll keep for up to three or four weeks so can be made ahead easily.
Without the juice added it will keep several months although you may need to increase the oil a bit when blending or processing it.
Next, the chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) need to be prepared, soaked, and cooked.
Canned chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) may be purchased at the store, if you want to save time, but must be rinsed and drained. I find that the hummus turns out a bit grittier this way but not enough to matter too much. The canned ones are intended to remain whole so they aren’t cooked as tender as normally would be expected for hummus. You’ll need about 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups.
If using dried, measure out 2 to 2-1/2 cups. Sort through and toss out any dirt, pebbles, or chickpeas that are badly discolored. They will need to be covered in water and pre-soaked for 14 to 24 hours for best results. Rinse and drain well before cooking.
To prepare own from dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) you can cook them on stove top, in a pressure cooker (traditional or electric), or in a slow cooker/crock pot.
If you intend to peel them you will need to add some baking soda (about a teaspoon to 1-1/2 tsp) to the cooking water to help make them peel easier, but I don’t bother with baking soda or peeling myself. You lose valuable fiber and nutrients, it just does not make the hummus all that much smoother, if at all really, so even going to all that trouble and the extra effort simply isn’t worthwhile.
For improved flavor, cook your chickpeas with the water seasoned as indicated:
If you are going for my Tex-Mex variation: add 1 tablespoon of the tahini paste, fresh garlic, and fresh onion — regardless of cooking method used. Seasonings for the water: 1 tsp each cumin and paprika, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 of a medium yellow or sweet onion coarsely chopped, 1/2 or 1 to taste of minced or crushed garlic clove.
If making traditional hummus: then you only need to add a single crushed garlic clove and 1/2 tsp salt — and then, optionally, if desired, you may also add a 1/4 cup of fresh chopped onion, 1 tablespoon tahini paste, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp coriander. This optional step isn’t traditionally done, but it does really improve the flavor so I personally recommend doing it.
You can substitute garlic and onion powder, but fresh is much better for seasoning during the cooking of the chickpeas, while powdered is best for actually making the hummus later.
To cook on the stove top using a Dutch oven pot, cover in water, season, bring to a boil, and if needed adjust heat to boil gently but steadily — for about an hour and a half — stirring occasionally — or until very tender.
You should be able to mash one easily with the back of a wooden spoon.
If you do not have a wooden spoon, then put it into some ice water in a small dish to cool it quicker, and when it is safe to handle, try mashing it between your thumb and forefinger.
Because we are going for a puree with hummus — not whole beans as you would for soups, salads, or beans — they need to be softer, more tender than normal.
Tip: Have a kettle of hot water going in case you need to add more water to stove top or crock pot cooked chickpeas. This will prevent a sudden drop in temperature which would increase the time needed to bring it back up to a boil.
To cook in slow cooker or crock pot, cover in water up to 2 or 3 inches above, season, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until very tender. Note: If you didn’t pre-soak them then you may need up to 12 hours or more to tenderize enough and will need to be sure to check on water level and give it a stir after the first 8 to 10 hours. After the first 8 hour test one of the chickpeas hourly to see if it mashes easily with the back of a wooden spoon.
To cook in standard pressure cooker, add about 3-1/2 cups water or until 2-1/2 to 3 inches above, add 1 tablespoon olive oil (protects the jiggler from clogging), season, and cook pre-soaked chickpeas for twenty minutes. Bring it to pressure over high flame. When it comes to pressure, turn the heat down, just so it maintains pressure. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Note: If you didn’t pre-soak them then will need to cook for 45 minutes. Do a cold water release. Test one of the chickpeas to make sure it mashes easily when pressed with the back of a wooden spoon.
To cook in an electric pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot), add water until it is 2-1/2 to 3 inches above the pre-soaked beans. Season as indicated, stir, seal the lid, and cook on highest pressure for 12 minutes; let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before finishing with a manual release. Note: If didn’t pre-soak, then cook on highest pressure setting for 30 to 35 minutes, natural release for 10 minutes, then finish with manual release. Test to see if one of the chickpeas mashes easily when pressed with the back of a wooden spoon.
When cooking is finished, drain and rinse chickpeas with cool tap water. If peeling, which I personally wouldn’t bother with, then do so now pinching the skins off each chickpea — individually — discarding the skins — along with their nutrients and fiber. If you are already used to doing this, then it should only take about ten to fifteen minutes.
You are now ready to make basic hummus — which will then be used to make either traditional hummus or my recipe with a twist for a Tex-Mex beab dip flavored hummus.
For traditional hummus, be sure to use juice of half of a lemon and for the Tex-Mex version use juice of half of a lime.
Note: There is already juice added to the homemade tahini paste for this recipe so you can adjust the quantity to taste. Some like less and some like more but generally one lemon or lime is plenty (the maximum amount usually added) and you may actually desire less. I rarely even add more myself, because what is already in the tahini paste suits me fine, but there are those that prefer for it to have more juice in which case this is the time to add more. If using store bought tahini paste then you will need to add the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon or lime, or to taste.
For basic hummus:
Place juice, 1 tsp oil, and the remainder of the tahini paste into a food processor or blender. Blend or process until well incorporated.
Add chickpeas 1/2 cup at a time blending or processing until smooth after each addition.
You now have a basic hummus in which to work with for making either traditional hummus or my Tex-Mex variation.
For traditional hummus:
You may now taste and season the basic hummus, traditionally, as desired to suit personal taste.
Start by adding a 1/2 teaspoon each of: salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, dill weed, cumin, coriander, and if you like it spicy then also add 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
Blend or process until incorporated, and taste test, make any desired adjustments, and after each addition blend or process then taste again.
Repeat until it tastes the way you want. Be sure to write down any adjustments made so you can simply repeat those quantities in the future.
Once the taste is spot on, if it is needed, you can alter the consistency and make it thinner or smoother by simply adding a teaspoon at a time of sesame or olive oil or by adding a tablespoon of water at a time and blending or processing after each addition until the desired consistency is reached.
You may serve immediately or chill first if desired.
Placing in an airtight container overnight in the refrigerator will help to improve flavors also.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
For my Tex-Mex bean dip flavored hummus:
Follow the same steps as for traditional hummus but use 1/2 tsp each of the following seasonings instead: cumin, garlic powder, salt, paprika, cilantro (optional), then add 1 full teaspoon each of chili powder and onion powder.
Continue to follow the steps as directed for traditional hummus except using these seasonings instead.
Once it has reached the desired “bean dip” taste, and then reached the desired consistency and texture, leave it to rest in the processor and proceed to next step.
Note: If happy with it and want to save time, you can actually stop here, if desired, but I highly recommend trying the remaining steps.
You may purchase already roasted bell peppers, or roast 3 to 4 medium red bell peppers yourself by placing over the open flame of gas stove burner or on a grill turning frequently to char on all sides or in a preheated 400 degree oven placed on sides, on an olive oil greased baking sheet, and turning until charred on all sides.
Remove stems and seeds after cooling and cut up 1/4 cup of the peppers as coarsely chopped, then slice remaining into very thin strips.
To caramelize onions, slice 1 or 2 yellow or sweet onions thinly. Preheat 2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium heat and saute stirring on occasion until translucent and golden. A little bit of charring won’t hurt anything and may be expected with the smaller, thinner bits, but, unlike the bell peppers, try to avoid over cooking the onions. You just want them tender, translucent, and lightly golden.
Add 1/4 cup diced roasted bell pepper and 1/4 cup of the caramelized onion to the hummus still in the blender or food processor. Blend or process to incorporate well and until smooth.
If needed, cut the slices of remaining caramelized onions and roasted bell peppers shorter to fit easily onto a chip if will be using as a chip dip.
Pour dip into a bowl and stir in the desired amount of the remaining sliced roasted bell pepper and caramelized onions.
Optionally, you may also cube up an avocado to stir into the mixture and/or add hot sauce to taste such as tobacco, habanera, or Tiger sauce. You may even add jalapeno peppers and additional cilantro if desired.
You may serve immediately or chill first.
Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Stir before serving.